The housing crisis is a far-reaching problem that affects a large number of Canadians and the military in Kingston, Ont., is no exception.
Housing in and around CFB Kingston is in short supply and becoming too pricey for many members of the Canadian Armed Forces stationed at the base.
“We had one corporal who decided to release from the Canadian Armed Forces because he could not afford rent in the city,” said CFB Kingston Base Commander Col. Sonny Hatton. “He had a three-bedroom apartment and was paying $2,000 a month.”
Hatton says the housing shortage is impacting military members at the base.
Liberal Kingston and the Islands MP Mark Gerretsen says the current housing challenges faced by the military is an issue he’s well aware of.
“It wasn’t that long ago that the military community started shifting away from living on base. The military was actually removing housing from the base. Now it’s kind of come full circle and they’re looking for new opportunities to build housing,” said Gerretsen.
Mayor Bryan Paterson says it will take a combination of effort on the military’s side and more housing starts in the city to help the current situation.
“New housing, wherever it’s being built – east end, west end, central – that’s obviously going to be helpful for some military members. There is also the option to explore more dedicated housing for military members. Whether that’s housing right on the base, or other creative partnerships.”
Hatton says the waitlist for military housing is extensive.
“(There’s) 288 personnel overall for 473 houses. Before COVID, and before the skyrocketing housing prices, there was not such a big waitlist. Usually, we would clear it every year,” said Hatton.
Hatton says it is unlikely the current waitlist will be cleared this year.